Sub-baccalaureate credentials and adult basic education — including short-term credential, licensure, high school equivalency, and certification programs — make up a substantial and growing share of enrollment at metropolitan Chicago’s community colleges. These new models of education may provide more flexible and affordable options than traditional degree programs. However, sub-baccalaureate programs are not uniformly valuable for workers or employers. Because some providers are not subject to traditional accrediting agencies, decision-makers do not have generally accepted standards or integrated data to gauge the quality of non-traditional and non-credit programs. There is a growing recognition in our region regarding the full breadth of training, in-demand skills, and meaningful work experience required to build long-term employability. Many sub-baccalaureate programs can play an important role in connecting residents to pathways for upward mobility. Their topics and structures may need to be further rationalized or enhanced based on the needs of growing industries and the economic outcomes of students. Many education and training providers are already adjusting their policies and curricula to reflect best practices for such programs. Improved information about program characteristics, competencies, and outcomes can also help potential students make a confident choice about what programs to pursue. Education and training providers — in partnership with policy makers and workforce funders — should provide appropriate data and information regarding programs for sub-baccalaureate credentials and adult basic education.